News Column

Tax-Free Weekend Has Arrived

Aug. 9, 2013

Are you going shopping this weekend? If not, then you may miss out on the opportunity to save a bundle of money.

The North Carolina Tax Free Weekend has finally arrived and will end on the Aug. 4. The holiday began at 12:01 a.m. today and will last until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

There will be a variety of items that will be tax-exempt this weekend. Some of these items include computers, recreation equipment, school materials, clothing and shoes.

This holiday is a great time for everyone to go on a shopping spree. Whether you are a parent going shopping for back to school items for your children, a college student looking to add more to your closet or just someone who loves to shop, you may want to go ahead and take advantage of this tax-free weekend, especially since this weekend will be the last in North Carolina.

Yes, this year the tax free weekends will come to an end. According to the N.C. Department of Revenue, the tax-exempt holiday cost the state an estimated $13.6 million last year and is expected to cost about $13.4 million this year.

This tax break was one of 48 -- out of more than 300 on the books in N.C. -- that was eliminated as part of the new tax legislation approved by state lawmakers this year.

Supporters of the tax changes say the lower rates will more than make up for the money consumers save and retailers earn during the tax-free holiday.

"Each and every taxpayer in our state will have more money in their pockets day-to-day," said State Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett Republican and a sponsor of the tax code legislation. "The reduction in personal income taxes more than offsets one-time savings obtained during promotional sales tax holidays."

Andy Ellen, president of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, said that this holiday is the second busiest shopping period of the year. He also stated that you're able to go out for just that one weekend, and for retailers, it's the only weekend you're on a level playing field with Amazon or Overstock.

"Each of North Carolina's bordering states -- South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia -- will have a sales tax holiday still in place next year," said Ellen.

According to the N.C. Department of Revenue, the popular event exempts clothing, footwear, and school supplies of $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreational equipment of $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item from sales tax. Tablet computers and netbooks of $3,500 or less per item qualify.

The state's Retail Merchants Association recently launched a campaign to rally public support for the reinstatement of the holiday.

For more information regarding the tax-free weekend, visit www.dornc.com.



Source: (c)2013 the Richmond County Daily Journal (Rockingham, N.C.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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